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Saints bang in four without reply in monsoon conditions in Monday night goal fest

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 07:39

SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Dorchester Town       0         St Neots Town      4

St Neots’ Manager Matt Clements had demanded that his side react in the right way after their disappointing defeat at Kings Langley 48 hours earlier and despite some four and a half hours testing trip in a mini-bus to Dorchester on a Monday evening he was granted his demands.   On an extremely heavy pitch marginally better than waterlogged and in a match played out in incessant rainfall the visitors thrashed the home side 4-0 – and the final score line could have been even greater!   It was St Neots’ biggest away league victory since winning 6-0 at Bedworth in August 2015 and coincidentally Tom Meechan scored in that victory as well as this one.   The Dorchester club deserve credit for getting the game on having seen it waterlogged off ten days earlier, and the match Referee was determined to see the match finished as the conditions rapidly deteriorated.   For a third match in five days the Manager brought in Tom Wood, Kieron Wiltshire and Dion Sembie-Ferris, the three players whom he had rested at Kings Langley, with Jordan Norville-Williams unavailable and Scott Sinclair and Stefan Broccoli on the bench.   It was St Neots second ‘league double’ of the season and it lifted them one place to twelfth in the league table.

The visitors were very impressive in the first half playing with purpose and confidence and it took them just six minutes to establish their control.   Dylan Williams and Kyron Wiltshire exchanged passes before Wiltshire deftly sidestepped two lunging tackles to set up Tom Meechan at the near post for a trademark finish.   Williams then saw a free kick well saved by home keeper Chris Weale and the lively Wiltshire was tripped on the edge of the penalty area but won only a corner.   An off-balance Meechan headed wide from a Williams corner, but the mounting pressure told when, after 17 minutes Wiltshire was the provider once again, pulling the ball back from the bye-line for Dion Sembie-Ferris to shoot low past the keeper.   With visiting keeper Finlay Iron only a spectator, Williams had another shot blocked and the home side never really extended the St Neots defence lined up with three at the back and five dominating in midfield.   However, Dorchester should have pulled a goal back two minutes before half time when Antonio Diaz cut in from the right to fire in a shot that Iron could not hold, and the ball spilled to the feet of Billy Lowes, who with the goal at his mercy blasted wide.

The first few exchanges of the second half were going to dictate the outcome of this match and it was St Neots who seized the moment to further impose their superiority.   From a searching cross by Luke Knight, Meechan unselfishly set up Nabil Shariff who responded by claiming his fifth goal in his last seven games.   Meechan had needed to pass a fitness test prior to the match but he still looked menacing with one shot wide and a second over the bar and in one unbelievable attack on the hour St Neots shredded the home defence as first Meechan and then David Bridges saw shots rebound from the woodwork before Shariff was on hand to make it third time lucky and the score 4-0.   At that point Dorchester decided to go for broke with two attacking substitutes and St Neots cleverly responded sending on Johnny Butler and reverting their formation to five at the back.   Consolidation was then the order of the day as tired limbs bit in, but apart from two outstanding saves by Iron to deny substitute Ollie Griggs and Ashley Pope, the home side made little headway.   Twice Shariff went close to getting a hat trick – firstly after 78 minutes when an offside flag denied him, and then five minutes from time when Weale was equal to his sharp finish.   It was not to be Dorchester’s night for the only time Iron was beaten after 88 minutes, Tom Blair’s shot rebounded from the crossbar.

St Neots:  Iron, Wood, McDevitt, Knight, Bridges, Parr, Sembie-Ferris, Wiltshire, Meechan, Shariff, Williams (D)

Subs:  Sinclair (for Meechan 64 mins), Butler (for Williams 68 mins), Buddle (for Knight 79 mins).

Cards:  Knight (Y – 62 mins), Bridges (Y – 72 mins), McDevitt (Y – 81 mins)

Goals:  Shariff 2 (47 & 59 mins), Meechan (6 mins), Sembie-Ferris (17 mins)

 

Dorchester:  Weale, Egan, Clarke, Rose, Carmichael, Winsper, Martin, Lowes, Pope, Diaz, Blair

Subs:  Griggs (for Winsper 50 mins), Stafie (for Lowes 65 mins), Panesar-Dower (for Carmichael 77 mins), Bastick and Brookes.

Cards:  Martin (Y – 62 mins), Diaz (Y – 73 mins)

Goals:  none

Referee:  James Robinson (Southampton)

Attendance:  257

 

John Walker

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